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Born Free USA Blog

Born Free USA Blog

Congress on a Roll

Published 05/21/08
By Adam M. Roberts, Senior Vice President

Sometimes the Members of Congress get it!

Sure, they don’t always move controversial bills, especially when there is conflict. In fact, the Bear Protection Act is currently being held up in the face of strenuous opposition from the NRA (which apparently has no problem with bear poaching in America — shame on them).

But this week promises to be a good one for animal advocates.

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed the Great Cats and Rare Canids Act of 2008 by a vote of 294–119 (how did your Representative vote?). When eventually signed into law, the Act has the potential to release millions of dollars in conservation funds to projects across the globe, benefitting a number of highly endangered species, including many that Born Free works tirelessly to protect (Ethiopian wolves, African lions, and African painted dogs, and others).

Today, the House will vote on a similar bill to help conserve a number of species of cranes.

And, in the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans of the House Natural Resources Committee, the Captive Primate Safety Act’s first steps toward passage are imminent. Successful enactment of this bill will prevent primates from being transported, possessed, or sold in interstate or international commerce if they are intended to be kept as pets.

Washington, DC can be a lonely place for the animal advocate, struggling mightily against well-funded and powerful interest groups that exploit animals for food, clothing, entertainment, and so-called sport.

But every so often we persevere, and when we do, millions of individual animals are spared cruelty and numerous species get a reprieve from their downward spiral toward extinction. Each success validates the struggle.

Blogging off,


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